My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy – What Should I Do?

In life, there comes a time when you have to deal with a bitter person. This person could be angry, depressed, or might be suffering from chronic mental illness. Most people would simply avoid such a negative person if he or she was a co-worker, neighbor, or friend. But things can get tricky when this bitter person is your mother. 

Before you read any further, I would like to tell you that I never advocate abandoning or neglecting an elderly mother. No matter how bad her health situation gets, it is your job to take care of her, while making sure that your personal life is not affected by the caregiving duties that you now have to perform. 

Signs that your elderly mother is never happy

1. She starts arguments over nothing

2. She is always in an angry mood

3. She talks negatively about other family members, behind their back

4. She doesn’t speak to your or other family members for days. She’s giving you the silent treatment

5. She has no friends and spends most of her days alone

6. She doesn’t go out and spends her time watching TV

7. She refuses to bathe or perform her necessary duties

8. She wakes up late even after going to bed early 

9. She cries a lot. She has recently become over sensitive  

10. She complains a lot

11. She is suffering from chronic pain, and that has affected her mood

12. She is suffering from memory loss resulting from Dementia

13. She doesn’t wish you your birthday or national/religious festivals 

14. She is constantly seeking attention from you and other members of the family 

What can be done?

my tips

There’s no one particular way of dealing with an elderly mother who is never happy. And there’s no guarantee that you will be able to fix her in the future. But one thing I can say with certainty is that you are not alone. The following methods can help you deal with the situation in the most effective manner. 

1. Try to connect with her on a deeper level  

I am pretty sure that you tried to convince her to see a therapist, and she refused to do so. Or when you did take her to the therapist, she refused to cooperate. Such a response is quite normal— and in some ways expected.

Your mother is going through a tough time, and it can get challenging to trust other people (in this case the therapist or a third party). 

You can try to become her informal therapist by asking her about her day, and how she feels. I know that listening to her speak is going to be draining, but you can do it till things get better. Once she’s back to her senses, you can ask her to see a real therapist.

2. Take her out for shopping, dinner, etc

It is entirely possible that your mother is being negative as a result of boredom. Seniors often fail to hold onto their relationships as they get older. They lose their friends due to illness, or old age. 

Take your mother out for shopping, dinner, or other fun activities. You don’t have to take her out every day, but doing it once or twice a week can completely transform their life. 

If loneliness or boredom is the root cause of your mother’s unhappiness, you will notice positive signs within a month of going out with her. 

3. Take them for a health checkup 

As a person gets older, there comes a need for frequent health tests. You must monitor the changes that might be occurring in your mother’s body. Hence, book an appointment with the nearest doctor.

What type of tests are needed:

  • Physical examination to diagnose muscular and bone injuries
  • Blood pressure test
  • Blood lipid level test
  • Cancer test
  • Vision test
  • Hearing test 
  • Periodontal test
  • Thyroid test
  • Blood sugar level test 

I have done everything, but nothing seems to be working. What’s the final solution?

You must consider enrolling her in a nursing home if nothing else works. A nursing home can be a great solution for adult children who cannot care for their parents but can pay for assisted care. 

If you have all the papers ready, you can also apply for nursing homes that take Medicare and Mediclaim as payment. Health insurance will also pay for medical care, medicines, and medical tests. 

If your mother is unwilling to leave the house, you must consider senior concierge services. However, state-sponsored health insurance might not cover senior concierge services. You will have to pay from your pocket. 

Senior concierge service has helped a lot of older people who do not wish to stay away from their families. You can opt for a personal care package or errands package. They will send staff to your home to take care of your mother.

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